ISLAMABAD - Except the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, all major political parties in the upper house of the Parliament staged token walkouts for one reason or the other during Thursday’s session that lasted for one hour.

Karachi law and order situation, especially the Thursday’s targeted killings of a religious scholar and his two aides, imposition of governor rule in Balochistan and Interior Minister Rehman Malik's statements were the key issues behind the walkouts of the PML-N, JUI-F, ANP, PML-Q, BNP-Awami and senators from FATA to record their protest.

The walkouts consumed half of the time of the session while the PPP senators remained on toes to bring back the protesting senators to the House. String of walkouts forced the PML-Q Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed to comment, "One walkout for a day is enough. Too much is frivolous."

After three consecutive walkouts in 15 minutes, Senate Deputy Chairman Sabir Ali Baloch requested the protesting senators to come back to the House after recording protest.  The practice started when Senator Ghulam Ali of JUI-F in a furious tone condemned the killing of Mufti Abdul Majeed Deenpuri, a renowned cleric of the Jamia Banuri Uloom Islamia. He said that the government had lost its writ in Karachi as nine people including Mufti Deepuri were killed in separate terrorist acts in a single day.

He asked fellow senators to join the JUI-F in its protest over the situation. The request was given due consideration and senators of the JUI-F, PML-N, ANP, PML-Q, and from Fata staged a token walk out. Soon after the walk out, Senator Kalsoom Parveen of BNP-Awami also staged a walk out for imposition of governor rule in Balochistan.

Later speaking on a point order, Haji Ghulam Ali said: “Nation wants to know if the terrorist activities were ended in Balochistan after the imposition of governor rule. A democratic provincial government has been toppled under the pretext of terror incidents. Owing to such undemocratic policies, the gulf among federating units is widening and such situations will lead toward separation. He warned that the move could pave the way for undemocratic forces, hell-bent to derail the teething democracy in the country. The people who refused to bury the dead bodies of their family members, he added, could have been a conspiracy against democracy by anti-Pakistan elements. Senator Zafar Ali Shah of the PML-N questioned the un-addressed legalities required to be fulfilled before taking any such decision.

Shah said the president had invoked the Article 234 of the Constitution to impose the governor rule, while its clause 3 clearly states that any such act needs endorsement of the Parliament. "When the government will convene joint sitting of the Parliament for the purpose," Shah questioned. Senate Deputy Chairman Sabir Baloch said it had been imposed only for two months not for an indefinite period. Following those short speeches on point of orders, the PML-N, JUI-F and FATA senators staged a token walk out over the imposition of governor rule.

Col (r) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik was just relying on incredulous informing which won’t be helpful curbing terrorism. "Rangers bosses are busy in running their business. Please tell the public when you will apprehend the terrorists and stop this bloodshed," Mashhadi said before leading a walk out over Karachi situation. Kamran Michel of the PML-N drew the attention of the House towards a statement of Interior Minister Rehman Malik in which he had asked Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan to either surrender or declare themselves non-Muslim. Callingit irrational, Senator Kamran Michel said that the statement was tantamount to disgrace non-Muslims, who are peace loving and patriot. He said that Malik must come to the House to tender apology for his words. He, along with PML-N senators, staged another walkout over the statement.

Earlier, Senator Islamauddin Sheikh, who is the convener of the Senate Special Committee on Law and Order, presented an interim report of the committee on law and order situation in Khuzdardistrict of Balochistan. The House also unanimously passed the Pakistan Coinage (Amendment) Bill-2012. According to the new bill, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has recommended the elimination of decimal/old coins as they are no more transacted.  The bill says that old coins have become obsolete and lost their utility. The Pakistan Mint has requested for recycling of old coins for using them in minting of one and two rupee coins. The house also passed Provincial Motor Vehicles Bill-2012.